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Compare the way death is presented in Mid Term Breakand On My First Sonne

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Compare the way death is presented in MTB and OMFS Both MTB and OMFS are both poems of similarity as they both speak out the loss of a child. There are however many differences in the two poems. MTB is written by thirty years old, Seamus Heaney looking from the perspective of his younger self when he brother died and explains the gradual understanding of the death. Benjamin Johnson writes differently in OMFS, about the loss of his son, at the time of the passing away. This difference already begins my comparison as the ages of both narrators influences both the poems greatly. MTB has a lack of understanding in the memories as they are remembered by a child; however, OMFS has the more mature tone because it's coming straight from an adult. The two poems may be written about the same topic, but there are many subtle differences contained within the wording and the background. Heaney wrote MTB in 1968, when he was 29, but Johnson wrote OMFS more than 350 years ago, in 1616. ...read more.


It's a very detached sentence which really kicks off the poem with no messing about. Compared with the complexity of Johnson's writing this is extremely bland and almost un-meaningful. Of course it's not un-meaningful at all because as we progress into the poem the language changes becoming more complicated, for example the description of "wearing a poppy bruise" is not as obvious as the first line. The two lines, although they prepare us for similar poems on child deaths, start us in very obvious different ways as MTB does not prepare us for a poem about death. The first line of it sets us up for a poem about a holiday for teenagers or possibly someone going home early as they're ill whereas OMFS immediately plunges into the concept of somebody lost. Both Heaney and Johnson are both from religious backgrounds but both have different styles which are inflicted into their poems. Heaney was from a strict catholic background and Johnson was in a time where everyone was strictly protestant. ...read more.


Both of the poets mention how old the dead children were, but neither of them actually says so. Heaney sneaks it in as he ends the poem "a four foot box, a foot for every year" and Johnson says "seven yeeres tho' wert lent to me" which shows that the age of the children is not important, yet still significant. The description of Heaney's brothers wounds are that he was "wearing a poppy bruise" which implies the wonder of how something so small could cause so much damage, as if he's in disbelief whereas Johnson embraces the death of his son, "Exacted by thy fate". It also gives us the war imagery as poppies are worn as remembrance for the soldiers. I find the most effective poem Heaney's Mid-Term Break because I can understand it more at first glance and I think that it is more likely to draw people in because they don't have to study it in as much detail. However the detail in Johnson's On My First Sonne does stop you and leave you wandering, so I also think this is effective. ?? ?? ?? ?? Abbie Bullock ENGLISH - DR WELLS 5th Form King Reynolds ...read more.

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